Peace is the absence of discord; peace is found when one force works with another force in sweet and unbroken fellowship. There is no jar or irritation in the relationship.
Peace is not found when every instrument on an orchestra is silent, but when every instrument is making its own contribution with, and to, each other instrument. The result is a rich and melodious harmony. Thus, it is with life when we have the “fruit of the Spirit” in proper proportion in our lives!
Paul said, “And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7). He presents the figure of a siege. Our lives are surrounded by subtle foes seeking to gain entrance. At the door are temptations, errors, deceptions, fears and alarms — all are at the door, cunningly waiting for admissions; but within the heart of the faithful Christian, peace is pictured as a sleepless sentinel and guard. When there is peace within, there is perfect harmony between the soul and the Lord. There is no discordant element. When we are at peace, the heart (soil) will be kept lovely, and the thought (flowers)will be kept beautiful. Paul teaches us how and what to think and also points to himself as to the result of proper thinking. Correct thinking produces commendable and worthy fruit in the life of any and all who practice these great truths. Paul wrote, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8-9).
Not all peace is desirable. It should be noted that while Jesus came to bring peace (Luke 1:76-79), there is a type of peace that Jesus did not come to bring, and that is a false peace. He announced that His teaching would bring not peace but a sword (Matthew 10:34). He would never advocate peace at the expense of truth. “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable” (James 3:17).
There are those who cry “Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 6:14). Jesus would have nothing to do with such a false peace. He never compromised with error. Jesus wanted peace, yet both he and his faithful disciples were, and are, often in a position of the psalmist when dealing with the wicked. “I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war.” (Psalms 120:7). His mission into the world was trying to bring true peace which is based solely upon truth. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, (Ephesians 2:13-15).
How can we achieve peace with our fellow man? Is it possible for us to live peaceably with men today? God’s answer is an emphatic “YES!” Not only is it a possibility, but it is also a command: “Follow after peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no man shall see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14). The church is explicitly commanded to be a peaceable institution. “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 14:17). “Be at peace among yourselves” (1 Thessalonians 5:13). Unfortunately, there are a few people with whom it is impossible to live in peace. “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” (Romans 12:18).
To achieve peace, we must have a genuine, deep-seated desire for peace and a fervent motivation for it. If we sincerely long for peace, we will think peace, love peace, and work for it in our lives and the lives of others. In fact, we are commanded, “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:1-3).
Once at peace with himself through his obedience to the gospel, the Christian must accept his role as a peacemaker. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9). Peter said, For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” (1 Peter 3:10-11). “So then let us follow after things which make for peace, and whereby we may edify one another.” (Romans 14:19)
Garland Elkins 3 5 1987 The Getwell Reminder.